The article offers a comparison of diaries written by the unemployed in the 1930s and at the end of the 20th century with particular attention paid to the structural, social and psychological similarities in the plight of the unemployed in those periods. Through an affirmative reading of the diaries, which gives their authors full trust, the authoress traces the sources of income, consequences of poverty and joblessness, attitude to capitalism and their social and psychological condition. Much of the work is devoted to the discussion of differences between women's and men's diaries. The authoress also attempts to find reasons for gender specific personal narratives which the diaries clearly are. She also discusses the question of a self-narrative as a modern way of constructing identity and agency - a painful and often fruitless process for marginalized people.
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